Instagram: @aa.ninaa

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

Hello, my name is Nina. My story started 20 years ago when I was born and my artistic story started not long after that. I’m from Warsaw, Poland. This October, I moved to a different city to study graphic design. I’ve loved arts and crafts ever since I was a little kid and my family actively encouraged me to draw and gain experience. Now I continue to do so, but also share it to Instagram for others to see. 

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I would describe it as soft and cozy. I use mostly warm neutral colours. I like using brushes that mimic the texture of a pencil or charcoal and give the drawing a more paper-like quality.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

Digital for illustration. Charcoal for drawing real life. 

I’m in love with how convenient drawing on an ipad is. The multiple layers and undo buttons can be life savers. I reserve my ipad for the stylized illustrations but I still actively practice drawing realistically. I enjoy getting my hands dirty with charcoal, mostly in class, when drawing people in different poses. It’s a very different drawing experience. 

4. What is your artistic process like?

Agonizing at times but mostly just very fun. It’s always different, but I tend to go through these basic stages:

1. finding an inspiration/ coming up with a theme for the drawing

2. sketching (my favourite part)

3. crying a bit (optional)

4. filling in the shapes with colours and textures 

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

Hard working people, confident in their artistic style inspire me the most. Someone who knows what they love and pursues it. I think that’s very admirable. 

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

When I look at objects and people, I often think about the shapes that they’re made of, how the light falls on them and what colours I would use to paint them. On a less disturbing note, I definitely pay close attention to the design I see around me, both the good and bad. I like to appreciate the good and get inspired by it. 

7. Where did you study?

I started studying graphic design at the Academy of Arts in Łódź, Poland this year. It was a dream for me to get into this school. I actually didn’t get accepted the year before. It was an awful, soul crushing experience to me at the time. In hindsight, I think it’s better that I didn’t go there last year, because I managed to do a lot of growing on my own. That’s when I began figuring out my style and started sharing it to Instagram.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I really hope to develop and improve my style further. It’s not yet where I want it to be. I would love to push it in a more conceptual and creative direction. A little dream of mine is to create spot illustrations for a magazine or a book. 

9. What about in ten?

Whoa, that’s a lot of years. I hope to still be passionate about what I do, whatever it may be. Ideally that would mean a stable job in illustration or graphic design.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I want to evoke cozy, happy feelings. I want you to feel a sense of calm when looking at my illustrations.  

I would also love my art to encourage others to draw. That’s something I didn’t think about when I started posting my work online, but I’ve heard from some people that I inspired them to start or get back into drawing and knowing that I had a positive impact on someone in this way is just a wonderful feeling. 

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

A good falafel wrap. Or a tofu wrap. Or any meat substitute with crunchy veggies wrapped in a tortilla, actually. I believe that a wrap is the superior way of consuming food. Peanut butter is up there in my favourites as well (crunchy, obviously). 

12. Favourite book?

This question is waaay too difficult, It changes so often. Lately I’ve been reading Jo Nesbø’s crime novels and I absolutely love them. I don’t read a lot of polish writers but Dorota Masłowska absolutely stole my heart with her witty and clever writing. I think I’ve read all of her books and anything by her is a favourite of mine.

13. Favourite genre of music? 

This really depends on my current mood. Is ‘beautiful melodies that will make you cry but also have a catchy tune’ a genre? If so, this. 

14. What are your hobbies? 

I used to be a dancer. I don’t consider myself one right now, because I don’t take regular classes. But movement and dance is still an important part of my life. 

At Uni this year I had sculpture classes and now I would definitely add that to my hobbies.

I also like learning languages. One language- french, to be exact. (Shoutout à tous les francophones qui lisent ceci. Laissez-moi vivre dans votre pays s’il te plait.)

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

I don’t think I can really call myself an artist just yet but thank you.

I actually loved and did quite good math at school. At some point I thought I’d be an architect. It seemed like a smart combination of my interests, drawing and math. Somewhere around high school I figured that it’s better for me to keep these separate and that I really wouldn’t be happy as an architect at all. 

For the longest time, I truly didn’t see art as a valid career choice. What I hadn’t realised then was that there are so many creative jobs out there. And slowly, I’m finding my place in this big and scary world of art.